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Thread: What's not to like about a Remington?

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    Default What's not to like about a Remington?

    We have kicked this around some, here and there on different threads but I don't think we really got into details. Here's my take on Remingtons prolific M722/721 & 700 rifles.

    I grew up in southern Missouri where, if you didn't own a Remington, folks thought there was something wrong with ya. In some parts it was the same way about Fords, in others it was Chevys but it was always Remingtons.

    They were 722s or 721s in those days but the fundamental chassis of the Remington has remained the same in my lifetime. I have seen a lot of Remington rifles. To be quite honest I have seen very few failures with them. Rarely ever does anything break, they almost never wear out even when abused and when we screw up very badly they are so strong they save our but. Also when any of my friends who were involved in a shooting accident, folks never blamed the rifle always the loose nut behind the trigger, appropriately so. These rifles were, by mathmatical numbers, mostly Remingtons or rehashed war souvignirs or sometimes not altered much a all. This was pretty much dirt poor, hard working, country folks who didn't have much cash for anything but the least expensive and, as we did whether buying used farm machinery or old cars, we made things work. This philosophy applied to guns when we could get money enough to buy something other than a second hand Marlin or a war relic, it was usually a Remington. This was pre Ruger days and pre 64 Winchester days so good bolt rifles were beyond the reach of us farm boys for many years.

    When I began to get older and away from the country I began to see the sort of rifles used in European and African coutries where different political climates pressed individual ownership and placed greater demands on a rifle. This was due to numerical restrictions and no allowance for trading and jocking around with guns and only the most durable and reliable were worth owning.

    To jump ahead, lets look at what we, generally as a group of gurus, think are the greatest attributes of a good quality hunting rifle. We can exclude such tasteful things as hand rubbed french walnut stocks and high polish blue steel finishes. These are not functional and actually add to the up keep of the rifle. Lets look at the design and lets steer clear of the discussion of strength. I want to do that for several reasons. First there are very few bolt rifles around today that are by design of inferior strength. Steel and metalurgical science has pretty much made all guns much stronger than the Mauser brothers ever dreamed of making.

    Lets look at such things as triggers, extractors, ejectors, safeties and design features that add such things as smooth wobbly free bolt travel and smooth reliable feeding. In the design we nust consider the designed in strength of lock up and ruptured case gas handling, but not so much is the diameter of the front ring or the locking lug area because these are things that haven't failed in 100 years of bolt actions so we don't need to dwell on them. Also whether forged, milled or cast or which combination works best, not an issue if the design is flawed from the start.

    Each design will have some features that somebody likes, no doubt. Such as push feeders and belted cartridges seem to be smoother than claw extractors with the belts. Aesthetics and ergonomics such as the size and placement of the safety lever are individual issues but no part of this study. The functionality of each of these levers and the accessability of them is at issue here. Functionality not aesthetics.

    I don't like Remingtons. I don't dislike them, I just don't want to own them. Most of the guns I've handled in my lifetime have been Remingtons, most were fine rifles and all were worth the purchase price.

    I like a claw extractor and a mechanical ejector, not a plunger. I like a simple open trigger that I can adjust and hone the cutting edges to my liking, not a works in a drawer inaccessable stamped steel, riveted box, with all the critical working parts inside.

    I like two big locking lugs up front just like Paul designed it. Unlike Pauls 98 I want bolt guide rails that are smooth or can be polished smooth with machined in bolt stabilizing guides to make the full bolt travel smooth and wobble free. I want a safety lever that is accessable but not obtrusive and it must lock and arrest the strikers fall even if the trigger is broken off the rifle. This is a positive safety, not some flimsy stamped steel lever that pushes a sliver of sintered iron between the trigger and the sear.

    I like a rifle made of steel with steel parts. I want steel one piece bottom metal and a hinged steel floorplate with a positive latch that won't spill the magazine contents under even the toughest of recoil. I want a rifle to look like a rifle and more improtantly I want it to feel like a rifle and handle like a rifle and shoot like a rifle should. (how's that of hillbilly grammar?)

    Other than that I still like hand rubbed walnut and deep blued steel, but we aren't gonna talk about that.
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    The bolt handle falling off is a concern.

    To be fair i have owned two remington bolt actions and they worked fine. One was 22-250 that was incredibly accurate and the other was a 375 ultramag yeeouch!!!
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMiller View Post
    The bolt handle falling off is a concern.

    To be fair i have owned two remington bolt actions and they worked fine. One was 22-250 that was incredibly accurate and the other was a 375 ultramag yeeouch!!!
    Yeah, that, and the trigger problems, but those aren't issues with mine. My bolt handle is solid, and my trigger has been cleaned and adjusted, and I don't mess with it.

    Murphy:
    That'sa purty good evaluation.

    Different designs, different preferences.

    You could probably report on some other rifles too.

    Smitty of the North
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    One of my friends in Fairbanks has an old 7 mag rem 700 BDL.

    He has owned it since the late 70's I believe. He had a hot round get stuck in the chamber and while attemping to get it unstuck the bolt came off. He had the bolt put back on and has used the rifle for something like 50 moose (his/ friends/proxies).

    The bluing was all gone and the barrel looked like brushed stainless. That rifle has been there and back to be sure.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  5. #5

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    My first rifle was a BDL 243. I didn't have a clue about guns. Went to the gun store looked at a few off the rack and said "I like that one". Sighted it in and shot a couple of deer with it and then found a crack in the bolt after shooting it a few times. Sent it back to Remington for a new bolt and then had them send it to my brother. Wonder if he still has it? It's been about 25 yrs.

    My biggest complaint about Remingtons is the knobby safety. Way too easy to get caught on something and move it. IMO, just a plain stupid and unsafe design which just plain irratates me.

    Other than that, they are an "OK" gun, but like Murphy says, I just wouldn't want to own one.

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    Bolt handles falling off, I've never seen them fall off! I've seen them beaten off many, many times. Broken extractors by the score. Broken aluminum trigger guards broken lots of them. The bolt handle issue has gotten a lot better when Remington switch the process for installing the handle to the bolt body. They oven braze the handles on now. It takes more to beat them off now than it did before. The best way I found way back when, was to put the barreled action in a receiver wrench, put the wrench in a big vise, put a long (3 foot) cheater pipe on the bolt handle and apply steady even pressure on the bolt handle.

    (Almost) ever problem with a Remington can point the finger back at the user of the rifle and their total disbelief in cleaning a chamber. 99.9% percent of the failures I've seen came out of bush Alaska. All of the people that I have ever known that live in bush Alaska, only a handful cleaned guns.

    The RKW finish on the stocks. Amazing finish. Expands and contracts like an accordion. It is the best most durable finish ever put on a rifle or shotgun stock. It's the same finish used on bowling pins. I've seen the finish let the wood swell a 1/4" on either side of the rubber recoil pad, and then shrink back to below the sides of the pad and never lift the finish.

    Triggers, in fact vary few failures with the triggers (unless) someone messes with them. The fact as Murphy alludes they don't lock the striker is a major reason I don't like the 700 series.

    I do not like the extractors, I do not like the ejectors I do not like the way the action locks up when you have a problem with a ctg. Yes it's strong, so is an anvil. I want to be able to get the bolt open out in the field, not in the shop when I have a problem. I can deal with a problem ctg in the field with an open bolt. The worst I've seen with a claw extractor in the field can be dealt with because the claw can be made to slip the case head. Ruptured cases can not be dealt with, even if you have a ruptured case extractor with you, if you can't open the bolt. Yes I have torn heads of cases off with a claw extractor, I keep a rupture case extractor in a hole in the buttstock.

    But you said the problems come from dirty chambers, yep I did. I had a failure one from a tiny leaf, stuck to a ctg, ironed itself in the chamber and the ctg, ripped the head off with the big claw extractor removed the butt plate, got out the case extractor, put the bolt and the extractor back in the action, inserted the extractor back in the rifle and with the palm of my hand beat the case out, found the tiny leaf stuck to the side of the case with in 10 minutes, I was back in the game. Score a big one for Mauser, no score for a Remington in that same situation, unless you have another rifle, your out of the game.

    This entire argument reminds me of the cheap scopes of years ago that would fill with water and you were done. I use to try and talk people into letting me put a good peep sight on their rifles if they could not afford a good scope. Cheaper then than the trash scopes they could buy. The peep sights never fill with water so that you can't use them.

    To have just one item, that ruins a hunt is one to many.
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    I think I bought my first remington in 1971 and have owned approximately 20 of them in various calibers. Started my wife and son off with them as well starting with the 600 and then model 7.
    We never broke off a bolt handle, never had an extractor/ejector fail. For the most part they were all acccurate with the exception of one 375 H&H.
    I could give a hoot they are not control round feed.

    I do not dislike them but have stopped hunting with them in Alaska. Why? Water getting inside the trigger mechanism and then freezing rending the trigger inoperable. It didnt happen once, not twice, not three times. It happened every time we went to Kodiak or hunted in conditions where it was wet and then dropped below freezing. It became such a common problem that I would carry a couple of containers of "heet" just to pour over the trigger before we headed out every day.
    Remington has one of the nicest triggers on any hunting rifle and they are easy to adjust. When they are adjusted for minimum creep and over travel they can be more finicky if debris can find its way inside the trigger housing. With both sides of the trigger housing being a solid piece the water has not where to easily drain out. The problems we had with the triggers had nothing to do with "degreasing" them, etc. It had to do with water turning into ice.

    I guess this puts me in the middle of the pack. I really liked our Remingtons but decided they were a no go for our style of Alaska hunting. Now I find the older I get the more I am appreciating the basic Win 70 trigger and the control round feed.

  8. #8

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    I have never been a big fan of Remington rifles, have owned just about eveything else though. I think the horror stories about Remingtons up here has kept me from entertaining owning one and with so many other reliable designs out there I have never given it a second thought.

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    It sounds to me that most of the problems folks have actually experienced or design flaws people dislike are correctable with aftermarket parts. Can't do anything about the lack of a Mauser style claw extractor or blade ejector , sorry. Gentry Custom makes M70 3 position style safeties for M700's and there are numerous aftermarket triggers for less than $150 to solve the trigger complaints. A Sako style extractor can be added to provide a different extractor, if you want one. I prefer accurate rifles, that's not to say that other brands won't shoot great, but rare is it that other brands in a M700 price range shoot on average as good as a Remington or escpecially a Savage. There are lemons in every category of every make of rifle, so to each their own I guess, that's the great thing about America....freedom of choice.

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    Well up until a half dozen years ago, the only rifle brand I had ever owned was a Remington. All were blued wood stocked BDL’s and I have to say that in over 25 years of owning and shooting Remington’s I have not had a single issue or failure that could be faulted on the design of the firearm. I did drop a magazine full of -06 cartridges into the Iliamna snow during what I hate to admit, was a particularly bad case of “buck fever” at seeing my first heard of caribou………….. Obviously that one can be attributed to “operator error”, and the only other issues I have had were with triggers that had been lubed and left to sit for years, only to turn to goo and refuse to function properly. Again, not really the fault of the rifle.

    As for controlled round feed……………. Personally I don’t care one way or the other. I think some folks put WAY too much emphasis on this particular feature. The push feeds that I own (Remington, Winchester and every Lever gun I have) function flawlessly. I have NEVER had a round fail to feed or extract, never had a plunger or extractor failure, and sure as heck have never broken a bolt handle off.

    Every single Remington I have ever shot, was an accurate rifle and the fit and finish were excellent compared to comparably prices competitors. Heck……… I like em! In fact, since many of you seem to think they stink, feel free to send me a PM with your bargain basement price on all those Remington’s you no longer feel comfortable carrying around in the field because you don’t want to risk some catastrophic failure during your hunt…………… perhaps I can take that “useless piece of junk” off your hands!

    Now before any of you accuses me of being some sort of die hard Remmy lover that thinks the 700 series is Gods gift to the rifleman, I will point out what I consider to be the biggest detractors of these rifles. First off is the old safety that had to be selected to the “off” position to allow for unloading of the ADL’s. Not a good feature in my mind. Secondly is the bolt release button in the trigger guard. I don’t know how many times I have heard of guys carrying their rifles with the bolt open, only to discover that they had dropped the bolt somewhere back on the trail. That will ruin your day! And my last gripe is the trigger assembly. The older ones are nice and crisp and I really like them, all except for their propensity to hold in moisture or old varnished up oil and cause issues in the cold temperatures.

    All said and done, will I buy another Remington? Sure! But its not like I have anything against any of the other brands, and I do most of my rifle shopping at the gun shows and to tell you the truth, my main priority is cartridge chambering. So if I run across a Ruger, Winchester, Sako, Savage, CZ or any other brand that happens to be chamber in the cartridge I am looking for and is priced to accommodate my every shrinking wallet, then hey! I’ll probably buy it.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  11. #11

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    J Lock in the bolt..The squared off bolt handle and the qualitly of a massed produced hunting rifle..Apart from that their great...

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    I grew up using my Rem 700 in .30/06 and love it, I guess. I haven't had my Ruger as long but it works too. If they fail then it is the operator's fault.
    The emphasis is on accuracy, not power!

  13. #13

    Smile What I heard.....

    One guy I knew swears he never touched the trigger on the Mod. 721 30-06 when he put a round thru the side of his van and into a stereo in his house. Years ago I was in a staff meeting with several gun packing commissoned officers. Were talking about guns and 3 of the 7 in the room claimed they had a Mod. 700 go off after they released the safety. If memory serves me Remington paid some Anch. guy a bunch of money because he somehow shot himself in the leg and said he never touched the trigger. There is a lot of negative information about Remington triggers on the internet. Some of it is written by "gunsmiths". I grew up with a sportarized Springfield and Winchesters. I will always be using Winchesters for my Alaska hunting rifles, I love their trigger. A bunch of my friends use Remingtons every year and have no problems. I guese the trigger, extractor and ejector concern me. Their are a lot of heavy barreled Remingtons being used by our military and police so somebody must know how to keep them shooting.

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    Default Whats not to like about Remmys

    Fellas, them Remingtons have sure supplied lots of food fare for the table in my book. They too have shot like a house afire as well. Sold them when they could shoot one hole groups just about!

    Suppose what got me in the end with my relationships with the Rems was the poor quality of craftsmanship. Did not like the J-locks, the cheesy extractor although I have never experienced one go afoul, the cheap floorplates and trigger gaurds and all them moving parts for a trigger. Had 2 laminated stocks crack behind the lug although that is not Remingtons mistake.

    What Paul did is have me inspired by the solid design of the Mauser 98. The Winchesters whether they be the pre models or the newer improved CRF's is a solid winner-nothing but good metals.

    I "think" with the beefy claw extractor and all that steel you wind up with a truly reliable "field" gun, no some are not light for sure but you have one heck of a rifle!

    One thing is for sure I don't have to look down and find my doggone bolt opened up on a stalk/chase and cut em off type hunt and have to close it-happened once or twice.

    Yes, I will take a CRF over a Remington any day A real rifle mans rifle!

    Oh yes, if I wanted a ground squirrel shooting rifle perhaps a Remington or a Howa or maybe.....a Savage.

    regards,

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    I had my bolt come open while I was doing a through the alders fast decent. I got to the bottom and unslung my rifle and there was one round left in the mag out of 5. It was a non bolt lock on safety in 270.

    That reminds me of a third remington I owned. I bent the first barrel on that rifle and had a take off stainless barrel put on for $180 total at Wild West.Many years ago of course.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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    I have pondered this same question in my head many times. EVERYONE I knew growing up used Remington. I always thought they were a good looking functional rifle. They just dont talk to me though. I think a lot of it is what you started out on. I started with a sporterized mauser, used it for a while than traded it away. When i went to buy my first new rifle, I held many PF winchesters, remingtons, weatherbys, etc... but came home with a ruger MKII even though I had never known anyone who had one. To me it had that "thingy" on the side of the bolt that made it feel "gunny" to me. When I chamber a round with a PF gun, the snapping of the extractor over the rim is equivalent to nails on a chalkboard. The round should slide up under the extractor.

  17. #17
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Throw away the barrel, trigger and stock. Deep six the safety and that obnoxious J-lock.
    Install a Sako type extractor and M-70 type bolt shroud and safety, and you have the beginings of a great rifle.

    Remingtons are best suited as donor rifles.
    Now what ?

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    Where to start...
    Well the extractor, the safety, the J-hook.

    About the only thing they have going is accuracy but so does Savage and I won't have one of those either...

    After a few Rem 700s they fail to start my engine.

    Now a Kimber on the other hand...

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